Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Romantic Times Review for Cuffed by Candlelight

I just keep getting news that I can't wait to share... The Romantic Times review is in for Cuffed by Candlelight the erotic romance anthology that I'm in with Beverly Jenkins and Katherine D. Jones. They gave it 4 stars! Here's the review:

by Beverly Jenkins, Gwyneth Bolton and Katherine D. Jones

RT Rating: 4
Published: February 2007

Since Jenkins is renowned for her historical romances, the scandalous and outrageous sexual romps between the restrained woman who marries a paroled inmate are shockingly titillating. She forces you to shed stereotypes of Southern belles. "Guns and Roses," by Jones, is a mature twist from the horde of hip-hop books about sex and drugs in prison. Bolton's contribution, "Handcuffs Mean Never Having to Say You're Sorry," has several scorching moments. Throughout, the characterization is crisp, and the pace is moderated so precisely that you're primed for more.

Jenkins' "Prisoner" opens our eyes to post-slavery Kansas while dispelling the notion that the joy of sex is relegated to harlots, and decision-making to men. Officer Gunn in Jones' story is torn between ethics and her own blatant prejudices when lustful thoughts of an arrogant inmate's brother persist. In Bolton's story, what happens when "I love you like a brother or sister" is overtaken by carnal desires is exposed, sometimes humorously. -- Robin R. Pendleton

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hero-Logy for Darwu the Warrior Prince

Okay, I know I said I'd be back in the New Year... But, my author friend Anisa Damien just let me know that she posted the Hero-Logy for the hero in my lasted novel on her blog, Strictly Seductive. So, I had to let you all know where to find him and a new excerpt from Divine Destiny. You can find the Hero-Logy here:

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Here's Fantasia singing one of my favorite Christmas songs. See you in the New Year!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Tale of Two Writers: Some Thoughts on My Double Life

Normally, I detest dichotomies. I firmly believe that things are never either/or, black or white, this way and never that way. I'd be the first person to argue that things are "more complicated" and there are always more than two sides to any story. So it seems only fitting in an entirely too ironic way that my life seems to have broken down into weird dualities that seem to be in constant opposition with one another.

There are three questions that I get asked all the time that I never really know how to answer. The first question has to do with the amount of reading I do. People always ask, how do you read so much and still find time to write anything? The second question has to do with writing? People want to know how do you move between fiction and nonfiction? The third question is related, but more focused on the career aspect. People want to know how do I navigate being a college professor and a romance writer? Since my first novel was published this past March and I've only been a published romance writer with books on the shelves a little under a year, I haven't been asked these questions a whole lot. (I mean, let's not get it twisted. A sister realizes that she hasn't had tons of interviews and media coverage. LOL.) But these questions have come up enough and the issues they bring up are starting to represent these seeming points of confliction in my life.

Check out the rest of this post on Blogging in Black:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kiss and Tell

But first, a word from some hip-hop femcees:

"And you? I ain't mad you a ho. I'm mad you trying to teach my babies how to be a ho. When I ain't home. Taking that video to the dome. While you trying to clone bitches. I'm trying to raise queens…” – Medusa, rapping in Rachel Raimist's film Nobody Know My Name

"What's going on in ya mind, is what I ask ya… But like Yo-Yo, ya don't hear me though…" Queen Latifah, "UNITY"

"And dudes quick to take these groupies to bed. Betta watch out for they write a book about ya like Superhead…" Lil' Kim, "Slippin"

Yes, if we're honest, we can all point to instances where we may not have made the smartest decisions about men. Every girl has her stories. (Or has a stupid girlfriend who never ever seems to learn that self-respect is worth more than having a man between the sheets.) We could probably swap all kinds of stories about being young and dumb. But most of us know better than to put our stupidity on blast. Not so for Karrine "Superhead" Steffans and Carmen Bryan… By now I'm sure you've all heard of Karrine Steffans's book, Confessions of a Video Vixen. It was the hot tell-all book a couple of summers ago in which a former video girl names all the names of all the rappers and basketball stars she's slept with. Now we have Carmen Bryan's book, It's No Secret: From Jay Z to Nas, From Seduction to Scandal--A Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All. In it, she tells all about her love affairs with famous rappers and basketball players. Are ya sensing a trend here…

Now I write erotic romance, so these women's sexual exploits really don't bother me. I'm all for sexual freedom, especially for women since we've been told for so long that boys can and we can't. And, if their books were just about a sista getting her swerve on, that might be different. But the phrase "sucker for love" comes to mind… The claims of love abound in these so-called cautionary tales. These women claimed to love each and every guy that used them and abused them. All of them... For real... Love… In theory, I get it... As much as our community is concerned about little black boys, little black girls are going through some stuff too. I won't go into statistics here. Because we all know that the rising prison rates and HIV/AIDS rates for women of color are kicking our behinds. And as I think of Karrine and Carmen, I can't help but think that we need to do something to help little black girls find the love in themselves so that they don't fall victim to all the bullshit.

As much as Karrine and Carmen paint their stories as cautionary tales, they don't work that way. Let's be real, if you give these books to a young sister thinking you are providing her with a cautionary tale, you will be making a grave mistake. Karrine's book could aptly be re-titled, "How to be a Video-Ho." The critical self-reflection that is a requirement for caution is not present in her book. And Carmen's book could be a connecting book to "How to Sex a Baller Out of His Mind and Money," if they were written by the same author… and if Carmen would have had to have been a little bit more successful at what she tried to do... Come to think of it, would be a kind of crappy how-to book for the way she constantly gets played. (And on a side-note, but totally in theme with my biggest gripe this month, guess which magazine is doing a feature on Carmen Bryan in their new issue… just guess… that's right Essence… anyway…) Neither of these women seemed to have learned anything. They are just recounting their stupid repetitive mistakes. And they are irritating for that reason… (The same reason that the character Robin in Waiting to Exhale got on everyone's nerves until she got some self-respect and a backbone. But at least Robin had a career and a life outside of her quest for a man…)

To hear Superhead tell it, she loved every single guy she screwed. It was like a mantra, "I rea—lly lo-ved Gotti, Ja-Rule… fill-in the blank." Carmen would have us believe that she re-ally lo-ved Jay Z and Nas and Allen Iverson. I posit that these women don't know what love is. And that is really sad. Carmen claims that the whole battle between Nas and Jay Z was because of her. That Jay Z made the diss song "Is That Your Chick" because she accepted Nas's proposal and he was hurt. (But those of us that listen to rap know what Jigga sounds like on wax when his feelings are hurt over a woman. See "Song Cry" and the recent verse in "Lost One" in which he mourns the fact that Beyonce is choosing her career over their relationship. None of these are the scathing and misogynist lyrics we find in "Is That Your Chick." But, I digress…) The point is the men she claims loved her so much that they went to war on wax have both moved on and she is left telling a story that is all too familiar.

So at the end of the day, what do I really think about the "Kiss and Tell" frenzy that we seem to be moving in? I really think that these books tell us things that go far beyond the gossip and the sex. They tell us a lot about the traps waiting for our little sisters and baby girls if we don't start showing them and teaching them what love really is. What do you think? Until next time...

Much love and peace,


Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Dream Cast...

Sheila M. Gross's great post last week on Blogging in Black, "Lights, Cameras...Wait a Minute," got me to thinking about who I'd like to see play the leads if I am ever lucky enough to see one of my books made into a movie. (Side note... I think that if this were to ever happen, I'd probably be so happy that they could cast whoever they wanted in it and it wouldn't bother me. I'd be too busy screaming, 'They're making a movie out of my novel! They're making a movie out of my novel!!)

You can find Sheila's post here if you want to find out more on what she has to say about the limited amount of Black novels being made into films:

So, anyway, I started thinking about who I'd like to play the leads in my novels and came up with the following:

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me


Shemar Moore as Darren Whitman


Tatyana Ali as Alicia Taylor

If Only You Knew


Lamman Rucker as Carlton Harrington III


Beyonce Knowles as Latonya Stevens-Harrington

Divine Destiny


Morris Chestnut as Darwu the Warrior Prince


Sanaa Lathan as Kara Millan

Handcuffs Mean Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Novella in the February 2007 release Cuffed By Candlelight)


LL Cool J as Lance King


Malinda Williams as Tamara Downing

Sweet Sensation (March 2007)


Shawn Wayans as Fredrick "Flex" Towns III


Tyra Banks as Deidre "Sweet Dee" James

So if any of you big-time Hollywood Stars happen to be reading this and want to option one of these novels, holla! :-) Until next time...

much love and peace,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Puffy Heart Lo-ve Anthologies

I love anthologies. It's not so much that I like shorter reads, but more that I like being able to read something and finish it even when I have a bunch of stuff going on in my life. I can read a novella and finish it without the same amount of guilt that I feel when I take the time to read a full novel. The other thing I love about anthologies is usually you get at least two of your favorite authors in one book, sometimes more. And it's just heaven when you get three or four of your favorite authors in the same book. The other thing I love is that in addition to getting your favorite author, sometimes you get introduced to a new author. I love being introduced to new authors. And I love acquiring new favorite writers.

I just finished reading the anthology, Takin' Chances for the Holidays. It features novellas by three amazing best selling authors, Adrianne Byrd, Donna Hill, and Monica Jackson. The stories are H-O-T! They offer three quick reads by these three very talented writers. The stories were fresh and had a bit of an edge to them. They had a sassiness to them that I loved.

I also finished the novellas in the anthology Vegas Bites: A Werewolf Romance Anthology. And all I can say to this is, YES! I finally got my Black weres! I am so happy that more sisters are writing paranormals. I really loved this anthology. I'd read vampire paranormals by two of the authors, L. A. Banks and J. M. Jeffries and contemporary romances by the other two authors, Seressia Glass and Natalie Dunbar. But what these women did with those Black werewolf packs... Lawd. Have. Mercy.

I have lots of favorite anthologies and I'll be adding these to the list. Do you like anthologies? Or do shorter reads not have enough meat for you? Do you have favorites? What are you reading now? Any suggestions for a good read? Let me know. Until next time...

Happy Reading,


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Brotha Please Awards, 2006

Welcome and thank you for tuning in to the first annual Brotha Please Awards also known as the "boo, negro boo awards." I'm your host for this evening, Gwyneth Bolton, and tonight we'll be honoring three brothas who need to sit their behinds down and shut up. Now, I know that we shouldn't reward bad behavior. But we should have a way to call attention to these brothas in a way that serves to curb that kind of behavior in the future.

So without further ado, the first award of the evening goes to a young man who has been writing for a while. He built his career off of the hard earned dollars of loyal female readers and a few years back had the nerve to stand in front of an audience of women book club members and complain about having majority female readers. You see he wants men to read his books. And he even went as far as to chastise the women for not doing more to make sure their husbands and boyfriends read so that he can have men read his masculine books. Then he wrote and essay in a major black women's magazine (Essence 2/06—I told y'all they have fallen off…) going on and on about how he is such a successful alpha male with so many women adoring him that when his wife is too tired for sex or has a headache it makes it hard for him to keep wanting to be faithful. Brotha Please! Omar Tyree gets the Most Sexist Brotha of the Year Award.

The second award goes to a rapper who began his rap career talking about how many times he'd been shot and also started a war with another popular rapper at the time. Now, there is nothing wrong with attacking the guy on top in order to take his place. Law of the jungle, kill or be kill, whatever… But this rapper went a little crazy with it and couldn’t seem to stop starting trouble with other rappers and just stirring up all kinds of mess. Every new album he releases he has a new beef with yet another rapper. One would think that he wanted to get shot again… But now the brotha has really lost his ever-loving mind. He is going to war with Oprah Winfrey! He's complaining to everyone who will listen (White Media…) that Oprah doesn't like black men and she is no longer black identified, etc… whatever… And he is doing this because he feels that Oprah doesn't have enough rap artists on her show. Hmmm… let me see… last time I checked it was the Oprah Winfrey Show. She can have whoever or whatever she wants on her show. When you get a show then you can have what you want on your show. See how that works? You still don't get it do you? Are you slow? No, you just like starting shit, huh? Brotha Please! 50 Cent, please step up and take your two awards: The Whiniest Brotha of the Year Award and the special So, You Wanna Be Starting Somethin' Certificate.

The third award of the evening goes to my friend and yours… we've talked about him on this blog before. He is also an… entertainer… (The hip-hop purist in me won't allow me to call him a rapper…) He just released an album and he has been seen everywhere promoting it. Luckily he and his long-term girlfriend are expecting twins just in time to help build the hype around his new album. And luckily his momma is a long time friend of Essence Magazine's former editor and iconic presence Susan L. Taylor… (How else can one explain the many covers devoted to this fool over the years, especially the most recent one?) Anyway, there are so many reasons why he should get the Brotha Please Award. But this year he gets it for using his girlfriend's pregnancy to sell records. That's just tacky, tacky, tacky. Pimping your children before they even get here is so not cool. All I can say is Brotha Please! Puffy or Diddy or whatever you are calling yourself these days, come on up and get your Tackiest Brotha of the Year Award.

Now I realize that you might take issue with this year's awardees. You might think we here at Gwyneth's Blog have been too harsh. Or you might think that there are others far more deserving of this award. So, please feel free to voice your opinion and share your thoughts. Also feel free to nominate and even give out your own awards. And before you say I'm picking on the brothas, let the record show that I fully intend to have a Sista Please Award Show soon. Because some of y'all have lost your minds as well… Kim Porter… Essence Magazine… Superhead… Carmen Bryan… New York from the Flavor of Love… all the sistas on Flavor of Love…

So, let us know what you think. Until next time…

Much love and peace,


Monday, December 04, 2006

Writing Erotic Romance

So it's December and it's the release month of my first erotic romance. And I've been seriously thinking about all the hoopla surrounding erotica and erotic romance. And I've been thinking of what I look for in a good erotic romance? As a matter of fact how do we even define erotic romance? Is there a difference between porn, erotica, erotic romance and sexy romance? Well, the special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America, Passionate Ink's president Sylvia Day breaks it down this way:

"Porn: stories written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else."

"Erotica: stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it's not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included."

"Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance."

"Sexy Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex is not an inherent part of the story, character growth, or relationship development, and it could easily be removed or 'toned down' without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.”

That sounds about right to me. (And that's saying a lot because usually I'm one to cringe at any attempts to define things.) But for this particular aspect of romance, I think a little definition is useful. First, it helps to have some guidelines for all those folks in the romance community that claim that erotica and erotic romance is ruining romance. The funny thing is these people never quite get that the powers that be see all of it as smut and porn for women any way. And the way to combat that kind of ignorance is not to try and stifle erotic romance or to try and define romance as only this and never that. But that's another post… The reason the Passionate Ink definitions work for me in ways that the failed Romance Writers of America attempts to define romance as a story of a relationship between and man and a woman didn't--besides the inherent homophobia in the RWA attempt--is that the Passionate Ink definitions lend themselves more readily to craft and structure. As a writer these work for me when I’m thinking about the kind of story I want to create. I know that if I can take the sex out of my story or tone down the sex in the story and still have the same story then I have not written an erotic romance. Writing erotic romance does not mean add hot sex in abundance and run with it. The sex has to be crucial to the plot and story. As a reader this is also useful, because it made me realize that I read some novels that claimed to be erotic romance when they were really just sexy romance. And I've read some erotica that is really just porn.

There have been lots of conversations about this in the romance community and I'm not sure where I fall in the debate. I do know that at the end of the day I want to read and write great stories, whether they be sweet romances or erotic romances. What do you think about it? Are romances getting a little too erotic for your taste? Too sexy? Where do you fall on the erotic romance may be the death of romance debate? Do you read spicier romances? If so, what draws you to them? If not, why?

And if you are interested in writing them, check out the special interest chapter of RWA, Passionate Ink.

Happy writing and reading,


Friday, December 01, 2006

December Interview with Author Deatri King-Bey

GB: Hi, Deatri! Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for agreeing to be my December author. I'm really excited to have you. I know you're a busy woman. So, let's start with that. You're a mom, a grandmother, a wife, a writer, an editor and I'm sure there are lots of things I have left out. Time management is such a huge factor for most writers who try to continue their craft while juggling family and day jobs. How do you do it all? What's your time-management secret?

DKB: Scheduling, prioritizing, and sometimes saying no.

I love being spontaneous, but with my workload, my spontaneity has suffered. When I first started writing, my children were much younger. I learned I must wake two hours before the household to have my writing time. Now don't get me wrong. I'm still spontaneous at times. I always have a notepad, and my hubby purchased a small recorder so when I'm out at my children's practice for this or that, if a scene comes to mind, I can whip out the recorder and dictate to my heart's content.

When organizing my never-ending to-do list, I prioritize and also consider how much time each task will take to complete. The time factor is a major problem many of us forget to compute into the equation. That's how we end up saying we will do 38 hours worth of work in 24 hours and don't even think about eating and sleeping in the allotted time.

Saying "no" is the hardest part for me, especially when it is something that will only take an hour or so, BUT those hours quickly multiply when you have soooooo many people asking.

GB: How long have you read romance novels? Did you always know that you wanted to write them?

DKB: I REFUSED to read romance novels until six years or so ago. I thought they were all mushy stuff. When I want to try an author I haven't read before, I usually ask my older sister to recommend a book. Well, she knew how I'd snubbed romance and recommended a romance book. I grumbled, yet read Indigo by Beverly Jenkins, then had to read all of her books. I was HOOOOOOOKED. In my novel Caught Up, I even reference Indigo by Beverly Jenkins.

I knew I wanted to write, but I'd never considered writing romance novels. But looking back over my old writings, I've always had romances buried within the plots.

GB: I absolutely adored your first novel, Caught Up. It had everything from suspense, intrigue, a little romance, and family drama. It kept me turning the pages and I was amazed at your story-telling capabilities. Do you see this as a continued signature in your work? Will you continue to mix and combine genres to give us such riveting reads?

DKB: Awwww thank you. Yes, my signature is mixing genres, and in romance I seemingly break the rules.

In romance, there is a strict structure you must adhere to, and the hero and heroine must "be" a certain way and "do" and/or "not do" certain things. In my romance novels, I go out of my way to break the mold people believe romance forms while remaining true to the ridged structure of romance. I may create characters you’ve never seen in a romance, such as in my version of Beauty and the Beast. Nefertiti, the heroine, will have everyone re-evaluating what true beauty is. Or I’ll put the characters in situations where authors believe the "rules of romance" say they can't be. In my novel Ebony Angel (Feb 2007), the heroine maintains a relationship with the drug-dealing father of her daughter. I won't lie, it was hard thinking of a way to put her in this situation and not taint her, but I did it to show that it can be done. I love a challenge. I don't break the rules, I just show areas not as explored as other areas (smile).

GB: I look at you and I see this sweet woman. And then I read your work and it's dealing with crime, drugs, the underworld. And I'm thinking, how did this nice Mid-western girl come up with all this! Your imagination is amazing. Give us a sense of what goes on in that head of yours that has you bringing lies, murder, and mayhem to the page in such stunning ways.

DKB: One of my cousins said she was calling America's Most Wanted on me because I must be up to something. I've always had a very active imagination. Then when we first moved to Chicago, we lived in a drug-ridden area for years. I learned a lot about the drug culture and world in those years. Mix that with my imagination and BAM! You have Caught Up. Ebony Angel is actually set in the neighborhood I lived in years ago.

GB: Your recent release, Beauty and the Beast just hit the stores this month. This is your second published novel. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about this novel? Can we expect the same mix of romance and intrigue in this novel?

DKB: Thank you for the congratulations.

Oh yeah, you know how I love to mix things up, so I'll be laying on a dose of intrigue in every novel. Beauty and the Beast is my contemporary version of the fairy tale. In this novel, the heroine, Nefertiti Townes, was viciously attacked when she walked in during a robbery of her home. The hero, Bruce Maxwell, has always loved Nefertiti, but stayed away because he is considered a beast by most, including himself. He feared if he pursued Nefertiti, he'd drag her into his darkness. While Nefertiti is healing, she stays at Bruce's and the sparks fly between the two. Now you know I couldn’t do a straight romance. The robbery of Nefertiti's home wasn't just a crime gone seriously wrong. The closer to discovering the truth Nefertiti and Bruce become, the more dangerous their situation becomes.

GB: You also have two novels coming out in 2007, Ebony Angel and Whisper Something Sweet. You go girl! Whisper Something Sweet is your first erotic romance. How did you find making the switch from mainstream fiction to romance to erotic romance? What do readers have to look forward to with Deatri King-Bey bringing the spice and heat to romance? Tell us a little something about Whisper Something Sweet.

DKB: Thank you again (smile).

When I decided I wanted to be an author, I began studying several genres and writing in each one. So switching from genre to genre isn't difficult for me. Once I have the characters and basic plot created in my mind, the characters take over and write the story themselves. I'm just glad they understand what genre they belong in (smile). Now I can't write in all genres. I'd love to write some horror, but I can't even scare a mouse.

Whisper Something Sweet is my first erotic romance. When I was first asked to write an erotic romance, I was reluctant. I worried I couldn't make it HOT enough. I went through the catalogue of characters in my mind and didn't have one who would work as an erotic romance hero or heroine. Then my acquisitions editor gave me a treatment for Whisper Something Sweet. A treatment is a basic idea for the plot. I digested her idea and built on it. The next thing I knew, I had Sweetie—the main character. My characters speak to me, and she wanted her story told. According to pre-release reviews, it's definitely hot enough.

Now you know I ALWAYS have to be different. Along with high sensuality, is drama and danger, and Sweetie isn't your everyday erotica romance heroine. She is a plus sized, natural-haired, black beauty. For some reason the publishing industry has a habit of placing caricatures on covers instead of real voluptuous women when the heroine is heavy-set. Authors don't usually get much say so in their covers, but before I wrote word one of the manuscript, I insisted a big beautiful black woman be on the cover, not some cartoon, not just her hand, not a hint of her. I wasn't given any grief and am very pleased with the cover.

GB: It is a really great cover with a big beautiful sister representing for the plus-sized girl! I love it!

Okay, since I know you as an author I love to read and as an editor who scares me to death--the editor of my first novel who I fondly like to tell folks took me through new writer’s boot camp (smile)--you know I have to ask you an editor question. I've always thought that being an editor must be one of the best jobs in the world to have. You get to read all kind of things before everyone else, shape new talent, and discover new voices. And you're also getting to shape and build a new company that should prove to be a force in the literary industry. So cool! That’s my idealized view of what you do… Can you tell us a little bit about what you do as an editor and the things you love about your job?

DKB: Awww man! The MILLION-dollar question!

I do love being an editor. I'm an objective eye who helps the author shape his/her manuscript into the best novel it can be, taking into consideration plot, pacing, characterization, consistency, showing vs.: telling, voice, point of view… Many times during editing, I know the authors want to kill me because it's not easy when someone starts pointing out flaws in your baby. Even when I receive edits from my editor, my feelings are hurt for a quick second. That's the part of the job I hate. Who wants to hurt anyone's feelings? But I also love to teach. When I can teach an author a new concept or we rework a plot point…whew howdy! Or when they've finished their edits and months later they receive their book for the final read through and LOVE the finished product, that's great, too. And don't get me started on reviews. I love, Love, LOVE when authors come back to me with their good reviews.

GB: How long have you been writing and what was your journey to publication like?

DKB: I started writing when I was in Junior High, but didn't get serious about being an author until about 15 years ago when I left the military. Wow, I can't believe it's been fifteen years. Sheeesh. Where did the time go?

I was in no hurry to be published. I'd been studying the craft for years, working as an editor and was perfectly happy allowing just my family, friends and critique group to read my work. Well, the folks reading my novels were just about ready to revolt. At the time I had six, maybe seven manuscripts completed but stood my ground. I just wasn't ready to be published yet. I was working in the industry and understood the work that goes along with being an author, and I didn’t want my fun hobby to become "work." Well, time passed, the children got a little older, I had more free time, and I was like, okay, let’s do this. I submitted to two agents, just to test the water. A month or so later, both agents contacted me. I decided not to go with an agent and submitted Caught Up on my own. The rest is history.

GB: What's next for Deatri King-Bey novelist and editor extraordinaire?

DKB: There's no telling. I just love to write. I have so many characters in my mind that want their stories told, I can't write fast enough. I'm presently outlining a thriller with author Curtis Alcutt we plan on co-authoring. We are having a BALL. I also want to start working with children. I'm dyslexic and wasn't expected to learn how to read, let alone write and edit novels. When my children were teens, I'd look at their friends' papers and be AMAZED at how awful these children's writing skills were. Yet they were still making passing grades in school. Totally outraged, you know I took my happy butt to the schools and pitched fits and corrected the papers properly and jumped on the teachers' cases for not doing their job. I want to start with junior high children and mentor a few. Helping them learn the boring stuff like the rules of grammar (but in a fun way of course). I'd also like to teach them how to write non-fiction such as research papers to fiction such as short stories and novels. Whew that's a lot of stuff. I think I need to increase the hours in the day. SMILE.

GB: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are you reading right now?

DKB: Beverly Jenkins, Sharon Shinn, Brandon Massey, Isaac Asimov (yeah, I know he passed years ago). I'm presently reading Mama by Terry McMillan.

GB: Oh, I loved Terry McMillan's Mama. Mama and Disappearing Acts tie for my favorite Terry McMillan novels.

But anyway, if you could say anything to aspiring writers to aid in their journey toward publication, what would that be?

DKB: Learn the craft. Get a mentor. Sign up for my newsletter (smile) or at least read through the workshops on my website. Read novels in the genres you wish to write in and study their form, structure, voice…as you go along. Learn as much about the industry as you can before your novel is published. Enjoy writing.

GB: What's the best way for folks to get in contact with you and find out more about your work?

DKB: My website is or my email

Thanks for interviewing me Gwen. This was fun!!!

Thanks for sharing, Deatri!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What Do You Want Your Words To Mean?

Thinking of Bebe Moore Campbell and other Black women writers gone too soon...


The beauty of writing and leaving a published body of work is that your words will never truly be gone, even long after you depart this earth. But what do you want your words to say? What do you want them to mean? Some writers say only the art, only the craft, only the beauty of language and the turn and twirl of phrases. And that's good. That's fine. We need more beauty in the world. But some writers, like BeBe Moore Campbell, gave craft an agenda. Made beauty meet truth. Took issues to the art. And made us think about things like race relations in a post-riot LA. Some writers, like Octavia Butler got prophetic with the muse and laced language with the subtle nuances of a stance. You can't read her parables and not be eerily concerned about what path this country might be on. You can't read the fiction of these writers without having some small part of your conscious tapped. Thinking of these writers and others like them makes me seriously consider what I want my words to mean. I'm standing on the shoulders of giants. What legacy do I want to leave?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Puffy and Kim

First, I know he's going by Diddy now. But he will always be Puffy to me. Puffy just fits him better. His entire presence is kind of Puffy, if you think about it. All fluffed up and nowhere to go… But that's another post… Second, I do realize that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter if Puffy feels that he's ready to marry Kim or that she's pregnant with twins and about to give birth to his children yet again without the ring. I know that marriage isn't for everybody. And if Puffy is grown-up enough to realize that he isn't grown-up enough to be a faithful husband, but sort of grown-up enough to be a halfway faithful boyfriend, then that's a good thing, well… sort of. And at the end of the day, who really cares? There are wars going on, children starving, and much more interesting celebrities with much more interesting crap going on in their lives (if that’s your thing.) But, Essence Magazine has deemed Puffy and Kim's story newsworthy by placing the giddy, happy-go-lucky couple on the cover. And far be it from me to argue with the magazine that used to be the bible of professional black womanhood (Looking for a new bible of professional black womanhood, by the way. See recent issue with Puffy and Kim on the cover. Essence's continual downward slip has fallen too low to salvage. But that's another post…) Anyway, I don't really care if Puffy marries Kim or not. And, I don't care that she's having twins. It kind of irritates me that Puffy is pimping his girlfriend's pregnancy to help out with the "Press Play" record sales. But not in a real, 'I'm so-oo angry' sort of way. More like a 'look at what this fool has to stoop to now to get sales' kind of way, or in a 'first, Biggie's death and now this' sort of way. But the actual fact that Kim sat there and told Essence magazine that she didn't care about the whole Puffy and J-Lo thing (even though reading between the lines, it was clear as heck to me that the chick was and still is heartbroken), didn't really bother me enough to blog about it. Kim isn't the first silly girl to take a lying, cheating SOB back. She won't be the last. And truth be told, maybe Puffy is really doing her a favor by not walking down the aisle. I'm not even going to enter the discussion about whether or not Kim is just a cold, gold-digger who's having babies for the loot. So what if she is? Can you think of a more fitting guy to get taken for the loot than our commitment phobic 'thought-I-told-you-that-we-won't-stop' friend, Puffy? In my humble opinion, if he persists in knocking sisters up without the ring then let the gold-diggers have at him. He has the money to keep making glossy, glittery, the-death-of-hip-hop videos, so he has the money to pay child support. And maybe if he knocks enough women up he won't have any more money to make his glossy, glittery, the-death-of-hip-hop videos anymore. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she? So, I guess I really don't care enough about Puffy and Kim tying the knot to make a great observational blog post about it. I care more about Puffy staying the heck away from the studio, unless he’s going in as a "producer" and never-ever-again as an "artist." I think he's a talented producer. But that would be another post, and probably one my alter ego should tackle… oops… she doesn't care that much about Puffy as a producer or artist to write about it either… Oh well, maybe I'm way off and have missed the boat entirely. Maybe, there are valid reasons why I should care. What are your thoughts on the matter?

much love and peace,


Friday, November 24, 2006

It's Here!

I held Divine Destiny in my hands on Wednesday! I got my author copies and already read through it once. It's pretty dang good if I might say so myself. I kinda like it. :-) Honestly, I can't believe that I've had three novels published this year. I feel so blessed and I also feel like this is almost unreal. When I wrote my nonfiction book and got it published, I thought "well, heck, I can finally write my novel since I wrote a book." And now I'm holding my third novel in my hands! It's my first paranormal romance and my first erotic romance. I love to read paranormals and I love to read erotic romances. But you could have never told me three or four years ago that I would be publishing in these areas... I'm so thankful and I just wanted to go on record saying how thankful I am! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend.

much love and peace,


Monday, November 20, 2006

Black on Black Crime (On Blogging in Black)

"You're headed for self destruction. You're headed for self destruction…"
"Stop the Violence," Human Edutainment Against Lies (HEAL)

"Don't you know we have to put our heads together... make the change, 'cause we're all in the same gang."
"We're All in the Same Gang," The West Coast Rap All Stars

In the eighties at the height of drive-by shootings, gang violence, and deadly fights at rap concerts, emcees came together on wax to create the anti-violence songs, "Stop the Violence" and "We're all in the Same Gang." There was a problem in our communities and artists came together using music to combat the problem. Now, I'm not saying that the rip-off of black authors by black presses is the equivalent to young brothers and sisters losing their lives to gun violence. (I would never say that.) And I'm not even saying that the black presses that have recently been accused of not paying their authors are only ripping off black authors. (I know that a few white authors and authors of other races have been victimized too.) I am saying that the majority of the authors being screwed by black presses are black authors. And therefore we can liken this rape and pillage of our labor and talents to a version of black on black crime.

I'm Blogging in Black today.

So, check out the rest of this post here:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A. C. Arthur's Love Me Like No Other

Here's the blurb for Love Me Like No Other:

What happens is Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas. Not so for Jade Vincent who is experiencing a string of bad luck--from her fiancé stealing her inheritance to her younger sister getting into debt with a casino. The last thing Jade expected or even wanted was to see her college sweetheart again. Now, to save her sister, she's forced to make a deal with the devil!

Lincoln Donovan's life is just as he'd planned, only his plans looked much better on paper. But he's the oldest of the Triple Threat Brothers as is bound by their rules of no committed relationships. Linc is having a difficult time realizing what change his life needs…until she literally falls into his lap!

Here's what I thought of A. C. Arthur's Love Me Like No Other:

This book has so many feel good moments. So many I-have-to-put-it-down-and-fan-myself moments… So many I-have-to pick-it-right-back-up-because-it-is-too-good-to-me moments… It is hard to put it al into a short review. Arthur has created a romance novel to savor. I love Linc Donovan and Jade Vincent. But, I really love me some Linc. I'll just say that he has some lines in the book that make me happy I'm not the sister trying to resist him. He is irresistible. The story is fast paced, steamy and packs an emotional punch--just the kind of story I love. And the love scenes are hot, hot, hot. The characters feel real to me and Arthur writes their story in a way that makes it easy for me to get totally enthralled with their lives. Jade is a hard working sister trying to start up her business and look out for her only surviving relative, a screw-up little sister. Linc is a brother on a mission with lots of plans and goals. He wants to conquer the world and doesn't think he can do all that and have love too. That is until the one that he let slip away comes walking back into his life… Arthur takes the lovers-reunited plot and gives it a smooth and spicy remix. The dialogue is crisp, funny and engaging. And the side characters…well… let me just say that Arthur is setting up the Triple Threat Brothers series very nicely. I can't wait to see what she does with Linc's brothers Adam and Trent. My, my, my… All I can say is I can't wait for my next taste of the triple threat. I highly recommend this book. You won't be able to put it down!

Get a copy of Love Me Like No Other here:

(The book isn't in stores until December, but you can get it a month early at on-line and save 20%)

Find out more about A. C. Arthur here:

(A. C. Arthur will also be the January author interviewed for my blog. So, be sure to stop in for that and next month's author Deatri King-Bey.)

Happy reading,


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The RAWSISTAZ Review is in!

I'm so happy! I just got another review for Divine Destiny! They gave it 4 and a half stars. So that means it will be a RAWSISTAZ Favorite! My first RAWSISTAZ Favorite! I'm so geeked! I really can't believe that in a couple of weeks I will be holding my third novel in my hands. Wow! This is just amazing to me. I sometimes can't believe that I am really living one of my biggest dreams.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the review...

"DIVINE DESTINY was a well-written, thought-provoking novel that is sure to please.  I was in awe of the way the sacred mates were able to carry on a conversation by tapping into each other's minds, without anyone else being the wiser.  Bolton's paranormal storyline is infused with so many erotic scenes, readers will not be able to put this one down.  This was my first paranormal erotic romance, and I'm happy to say it certainly will not be the last.  I look forward to reading other works by this talented author."
Reviewed by Pamela Bolden of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

much love and peace,


Friday, November 10, 2006

Flavor of Love....

Am I the only one in the world who just doesn't get it? To be fair, I never really got "The Bachelor," "Joe Millionaire," "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" or any of those other reality shows where multiple women compete for the love of one man. So, it's not just my incredulity at the thought that a group of women would be fighting over Flava Flav. But come on… For real? I mean… seriously… And the stuff these women do… I wouldn't do for any man, let alone Flav. So, somebody please tell me, what am I missing? What is the appeal? With those other reality win a man shows, I saw that folks might have been buying into the romance of it. Even then, I thought, so this is what feminists struggled for… so women could go on TV and compete for a rose from some clown, or a big clock necklace in the case of "Flavor of Love." Even if these women see this as their shot at stardom, it stills seems like a bit much. And if "Flavor of Love" is supposed to be some kind of spoof on all those other bachelor shows, the comedy is really lost on me. To be fair the extent of my watching the show is limited to catching a couple of episode during those marathons when they show them back-to-back-to-back. But I really don't understand how or why people watch. And that goes for "Flavor of Love" and "The Bachelor." So tell me good people… what am I missing? What is the appeal?

Much love and peace,


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Embracing My Inner Bitch

A few years back, when I was an undergraduate at William Paterson College in New Jersey (I think it was my junior or senior year), I was taking an African American Studies course. I think I was one of two women in the class and the rest were guys. That was kind of odd now that I think of it, because usually women out number men on college campuses, especially black women… But that's another post for another day… Anyway, during this one class session, I got into a rather heated debate about Black leadership. And when I say heated, I mean heated. The tones and levels of voice were kicked up more than a notch. Then at one point, I guess the brother couldn't stand that this little girl was going toe to toe and not back down, because, he pulled out the B-word. Yep, he called me a bitch. I looked at him for a minute and asked him if he just called me a bitch. (No I didn't punch him dead in the eye and say who you calling a bitch like my girl Latifah. BTW, what's up, Dana! Holla at your girl!) At the time, I realized, just as I know now, that the dude only called me a bitch because I was speaking my mind and holding my space. He couldn't hang. So he threw out a word that was meant to shut me up. Poor fool didn't know that the sister was embracing her inner bitch. When he said yes, I called you a bitch, all arrogant and bold, I said thank you with a pleasant smile. I knew that I had done my job for the day. He sat there looking every bit of the idiot he was and probably still is. The other brothers in the class stepped right to him and demanded that he apologize to the sister. And he eventually did. But I really didn't need his apology. I vowed never to let self-righteous, pompous jerks try and shut me up. And I certainly wasn't going to let the word bitch stop me.

Many women are embracing the word bitch. And I don't pretend to have the answer as to whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing. That's not the point of this post at all. The point is that sometimes (well, most times truth be told) I feel like embracing my inner bitch, my tell-it-like-it-is, stand-my-ground, take-no-shit, self. I subscribe to Bitch Magazine and I even have a collection of bitch magnets boldly displayed in my office. The heroine in my first romance novel is probably the closest to this part of my persona… even though I had to tone her way down. (I hope some of her bitchiness still shined through...)

I'll close by sharing some of the sayings on my bitch magnets and encouraging you all to embrace your inner bitch…

From the bitch magnet collection:

"You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing."

Control of

"That's Queen Bitch to you!"

"Extra-Strength Bitch"

"Life's a bitch and so am I."

"Being unstable & bitchy is all part of my mystique."

"The bitch is back!"

"Did you have a bowl of bitchy for breakfast or what?"

Bonus: Three that aren’t bitch magnets but are certainly related to the topic:

"Queen of fucking everything"

"The simple truth is… if the Queen had balls, she'd be King."

"What part of princess don't you understand?"

Have a great day and don't forget to embrace your inner bitch!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

November Interview with Author Wayne Jordan

GB: Hello, Wayne! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and doing an interview. From the looks of things, you are a very busy man! So, I'm glad you could find a minute to stop by and chat. With that said… You are a teacher in Barbados. You're a writer with two published novels under your belt. You're the editor of the fantastic review site, Romance in Color. You host the Kimani boards at e-Harlequin. You also host the Kimani authors' website and yahoo groups. I'm getting tired just listing all the wonderful and amazing things you do. So, my first question is, how do you find time to do it all and do it all so well. And please let me know if I have left anything out!

WJ: Yes, you've left out singing in my church choir and being Director of the Performing Arts Department at my church. I teach Literature, Theatre Arts and Communication. It takes skillful planning, proper time management and very little sleep.

GB: I know that men can appreciate romance just as much as women. My husband pretends to put up a struggle when I get him to go to a romantic movie. And then he is just as engaged and captivated by a good romance as I am when it's all said and done. But society makes it so that we're almost trained to buy into stereotypes about what men and women are supposed to like. You have been very open about your love for romance novels and the years you have spent reading and appreciating the genre. Can you tell us a little bit about what it has been like to be both a reader and a writer in this genre as a man?

WJ: Initially, it wasn't easy. For years, I was a closet romance reader, and then when I reached my mid-twenties, I said "%#%$$ it. I can't change who I am. Of course, some people are amazed when I say I write romance, but the people who count, my family, friends, colleagues and students are proud of me.

GB: What has your journey to publication been like? Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from aspiring writer to published author?

WJ: It wasn't an easy journey, but I also believe I was fortunate. Many years ago, I submitted a manuscript to Harlequin and it was rejected. I gave up writing and concentrated on my academics. In the late 1990s I joined an online writing community and started to write again. I discovered Romance Slam Jam thanks to all the wonderful authors and readers I met online and entered the Heart and Soul contest in 2002, won, submitted my manuscript to BET/Arabesque a few years later and sold. Of course, I am forever thankful to Demetria Lucas who read my manuscript, loved it and decided she wanted me to be published under my own name. No female persona, thank God. I, along with R. Barri Flowers, became Arabesque's first male authors.

GB: I have to say that I've read both of your novels and I enjoyed them both immensely. I found the prose in both to be very poetic almost lyric... just beautiful really. Can you talk a little bit about your use of language? I know you have a background and an advanced degree in linguistics. Does this training influence your very captivating use of prose?

WJ: I love the language of poetry and find the writers of the romance period appealing. I love the sensuous nature of the romantic poets, in particularly, Keats. I also, being a linguist by academic qualification, believe that characters' uniqueness comes of the language they speak, so I pay special attention to that.

GB: Still on the language note, let's talk about the titles of your first novels: Capture the Sunrise and Embracing the Moonlight, as well as the location they are set in. Both titles are really very beautiful and call to mind such wonderful natural images. I know that both novels are set on your beautiful island home of Barbados. Can you tell us a little about how you came up with these titles? Also can we expect a third installment set in the same lovely locale?

WJ: The title for Capture the Sunrise actually came because it connected to the central theme of the book. I wanted each of the main characters, who had experienced darkness, to find the joy and happiness. I actually included a scene in the book where Alana, the heroine, sits waiting until the sun rises so she can compete a painting. Embrace the Moonlight, changed to Embracing the Moonlight by my editor, was in keeping with the previous book. There will be a third installment, Chasing Rainbows, which will be Daniel's story. At the end of Embracing the Moonlight, readers discover that Daniel's wife and child were killed in an accident. Chasing Rainbow, will be an inspirational fiction/romance, since Daniel, a man of God, will lose his faith. That story is currently just a synopsis since I'm working on a three book series, THE KNIGHTS OF BARBADOS. One Gentle Knight will be on sale July 2007, and To Love A Knight, November 2007. I'm not sure about the schedule of book three yet. Of course, as the title of the series indicate, the stories will mainly take place in Barbados.

GB: The novels each have an element of suspense in them. Do you think romantic suspense is an area of romance that you will continue to write in?

WJ: Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre and I definitely intend to continue writing in that genre.

GB: What are you working on now? What can readers expect from you in the future?

WJ: Opps, I jumped the gun and answered that question above. One Gentle Knight is one month away for being in my editor’s hands. Don't you just hate deadline?

GB: Yes. I do hate deadlines... On another note, you provide a wonderful service to readers and writers with Romance in Color. What made you create such a site? What kinds of exciting things can we expect from Romance in Color and your other important service, the Kimani Boards, in the future?

WJ: Romance in Color now has a full compliment of reviewers so readers can expect most of the books listed to be reviewed.

Expect to continue to see book discussions on the Kimani boards as well as online reads. Kimani TRU, our young adult series launches in February 2007. I would, however, like to see more fans of AA romance to frequent the boards.

GB: What are you reading right now?

WJ: Shirley Hailstock, My Lover, My Friend. Ms. Hailstock is a talented story teller. Wish she would give us books more frequent. After that, I'll be reading Catherine Mann's latest Intimate Moments, Fully Engaged.

GB: Do you have any advice that you would like to share with aspiring writers?

WJ: Hold on to your dream, write the best book you can, know the line you want to write for, and don’t be afraid to submit.

GB: How can readers best contact you?

WJ: or visit my website at, or visit me on the Kimani Community Boards

GB: Thanks so much for the interview, Wayne. I'm looking forward to more of your wonderful stories in the future! Take care!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Great New Book on Black Masculinity

So, in the spirit of Nikki and "black love is black wealth," I have to recommend this wonderful new book by Natalie Moore and Natalie Hopkinson. I loved it. This is a very important work. Pick up your copy today.

Here's what my alter ego, Gwendolyn D. Pough had to say about the book in her blurb for it:

"Hopkinson and Moore have written a groundbreaking and provocative book that shows what happens when you care enough to deconstruct. This very important work breaks down the myths surrounding Black masculinity in a way that inspires hope and points the way toward change. From Detroit hip-hop mayors to babydaddies, these women provide fuller pictures of Black masculinity and use their journalistic training to begin the healing. Brothers and sisters will find a place in this work to begin much needed dialogues and the world will find a space to see for the first time a real and honest critique of Black masculinity. A deconstruction done in love, this book is a must-read for all."

Much love and peace,


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Excerpt from Divine Destiny

I thought I'd share an excerpt from Divine Destiny with you all today. I can't believe the book will be out in about a month! The reviews have been positive so far. So, I'm really pleased about that. Enjoy the excerpt!

Brief Blurb:

Divine Destiny is a paranormal erotic romance set in a primitive future. Darwu the Warrior Prince has started a war against the rebel resisters to the throne. He believes that they killed his sacred mate, Kara Millan, when she was a child. After losing her parents and her entire village when she was a child, Kara Millan became a leader and freedom fighter in The Resistance. She has sworn to bring down the corrupt monarchy. When the Warrior Prince and the freedom fighter meet and find out that they are sacred mates, only divine love and a few sexually inspired lessons can bring these two sworn enemies to a true meeting of the heart, soul and mind.


His hand maintained its caressing hold. "Your name. Tell me. Now."

"My name is Kara Millan."

The Prince removed his hand and moved away from her so quickly one would have thought that he'd seen a ghost. His eyes narrowed in on her and then his lips formed a sneer. "Lies won't help you. Only the truth will help you. What is your real name, wench?'

Not sure why he seemed to get angry when she gave him the information he'd asked for, she huffed, "Kara Millan."

"Your name can't be Kara Millan. Kara Millan died ten years ago." His eyes poured into hers for a second before he shook his head vigorously. "The Resistance did a good job. As I look at you, I can see how they picked you. Perhaps she might have looked a little like you had she lived."

"I don't know what you're talking about. But I am Kara Millan. Maybe the Kara Millan you knew died, but I can assure you I am who I say I am. And as you can see, I'm very much alive." How was she supposed to talk peace to an oaf who couldn't even grasp something as simple as her name? As if she didn't know her own name.

"I'll give you one more chance. What is your name?"

"Ka-ra. Mil-lan."

"Let her go and leave us. Stand guard and kill anyone that tries to enter." Waving his hands dismissively, the Prince kept his eyes on her the entire time he spoke.

"Yes, Your Highness." The soldiers spoke in unison, and walked away.

Her knees gave way. The Prince caught her before she hit the ground and held her.

She lifted her head as best she could and glared at him. "Why don't you just have them kill me and get it over with?"

"Not yet. By the time I'm through with you, you might very well wish for death, and I may just find it in my heart to grant it to you." His hand caressed her cheek briefly before his eyes narrowed. "But until then, I have other uses for you. You're going to tell me the truth about who you are."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vindication by Lyric James

Here's the blurb for Vindication:
P.I. Karyn Harris' sister was killed in the line of duty and branded a rogue cop. She's spent the last year grieving and trying to clear her sister's name. Zechariah Washington, an ex-cop and law student, is there to help ease her pain, but he wants to be more than a shoulder to cry on. Then, an unexpected phone call send the couple on a life-threatening search to find the clue that will vindicate her sister. Can Zechariah convince Karyn there's more to their relationship or will they both fall victim to the same people who murdered her sister?

Here's what I thought about Lyric James' Vindication:
This story has it all, hot sex, intrigue, suspense and love. Lyric James introduces us to the Adventures of a Private Jane series with a bang and I for one can't wait to see what she has in store with the rest of the series. I loved the "friends-with-benefits" turned true love angle that the story took. Karyn and Zechariah are having the most mind-blowing sex either of them has ever had and they genuinely like and respect one another. But there is just one tiny problem, each is catching feelings for the other and neither wants to be the first to own up to this slight change in their arrangement. It already sounds like great fun, right? Add to that a murder mystery and high stakes life threatening situations and you've got one kick-butt story. The emotional connection between Karyn and Zechariah will melt your heart. The steamy sex will melt everything else! And the nonstop suspense and action will have you glued to your screen. I highly recommend this e-book. Get your copy today!

Get a copy of Vindication here:

Find out more about Lyric James here:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Images that amaze me... (Because Elle Tagged Me)

So, Elle has tagged me. And now I have to find 8-10 images that amaze me. This is pretty much impossible. But I will try to do it since I was tagged. But Elle... I will get you back soon...

This is the image from the second Be Girl Be conference at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis. I just love the way it shows how women have always been a part of hip-hop and it highlights all the elements. And I guess the amazing part is that more people don't recognize all the women bring to the culture.

One of my dissertation advisors has this picture hanging in her home. I've just always loved it.

Anything by Frida amazes me... Frida amazes me...

Love the revolutionary spirit here--I think its called revolutionizing Aunt Jemima...

The rest are women who amaze me and inspire me: Zora Neale Hurston, Fannie Lou Hamer, Sojouner Truth, Ida B. Wells Barnett and Harriet Tubman.

Zora Neale Hurston--because I aspire to write as powerfully one day...

Fannie Lou Hamer--because I aspire to live my life as bravely...

Sojouner Truth--because I aspire to speak as powerfully and have my words mean as much to as many...

Ida B. Wells Barnett--because I aspire to have the courage to continue to fight against injustice wherever I find it...

And Harriet Tubman--because she remembered to go back and she personified "each one, pull one."

Much love and peace,


I've Been Tagged!

Thanks a lot Kari! I'll get you back one day. So Kari tagged me and now I have to share five things that people may not know about me. Here they are:

Five things most people don’t know about me

1. My family nickname is Kitten. Yep. My daddy gave me the nickname when I was a baby because of the way I used to sleep balled up underneath my mommy.

2. I’m an introverted/extrovert according to Meyers Briggs. So I am actually in my own head most of the time and it takes a lot of energy from me to interact with people. I have to go back into myself to replenish. It’s great for the writer in me. Not always the best for the professor.

3. I wanted to be a rapper when I was a teenager. My emcee name was Gwenny Dee. This was from the time I was about 13 to 16 years old. Before that, I wanted to be a writer. After that, I discovered boys and didn’t write anything, stories or raps, until I went to college. Then I wanted to be a writer again and ended up being a graduate student and then a professor.

4. I’m a year older than my husband. Yep. I have a younger man. A Tender Roni. A sweet young thang. I’m in a May/December romance. LOL.

5. I like to read more than I like to write. If I had to pick one to give up. It would probably be the writing.

Okay, now I tag the following: I Have Spoken, Madame Zenobia, Strictly Seductive, Kaia Writes, and Lyric James.

Much love and peace,


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Top Five "Sista Better Get it Together" Songs (This list is for the guys...)

Okay, so I realized there was a little slant in my lists and mix tapes, a slant heavily in favor of the ladies. What can I say, I might be just a tad bit biased. I'll own that. But in an attempt at fairness, I wanted to come up with a list just for the guys, a list of songs that warn the ladies to get their stuff together before they lose a good man. Now, I realize that this list sort of serves a dual purpose in that it could be a nice wake up call to my sisters. (Yes ladies, if you come home and your man is blasting one of these songs, you might want to check yourself...) But anyway, I came up with five songs that really scream, 'girl get it together before you lose that good man.' So here they are:

1. "Before I Let You Go," Frankie Beverly & Maze
You really can't get a much clearer message than this one. The brother is trying to figure it out throughout the song… "I wanna make sure I’m right… Before I let go…" He's not trying to be too abrupt. But he's thinking that the relationship is over… “I can’t understand it, no. Where did we go wrong? I won't be asking, girl. I've got to know. I gotta make sure I'm right. Before I let go…" Clearly these lyrics are still in the 'this relationship can be saved' stage. I like it for that reason and that's why it's number one on my list. (That and the fact that Frankie Beverly is one sexy older man. Yummy.)

2. "If You Think You’re Lonely Now (Wait Until Tonight, Girl)," either the Bobby Womack version or the K-Ci and JoJo version
Both versions of the song give the same clear message: woman you need to stop complaining or you will be complaining yourself right out of a man. He tells you straight out: "Can I talk about this woman I have. She's always complaining about the things she ain't got and the things her girlfriend's got. But lady I will let you know. I can't be in two places at one time." Mmmm, hmmm… now on an average day, I'd have something smart aleck to say about these kinds of songs. But since I'm trying to devote this top five list to the guys and stay in the spirit of things... I'll half-way concede that sometimes... maybe... we could... urr… umm… possibly... give a guy a reason to want to belt out: "If you think you're lonely now… wait until tonight, girl…" But don't quote me on that. And I'll deny it till kingdom come if anyone dares repeat it anywhere. LOL.

3. "Clean Up Woman," Betty Wright
This song is my one of my favorites… Picture me at about six or seven years old singing this song. I loved me some Betty Wright way before I even knew what the heck she was singing about. This song isn't about a guy warning his woman that he's going to leave her if she doesn’t get it together. It's a woman warning other women that their men will be easy prey for the clean-up woman if they don't treat their men right. She sings: "A clean up woman is a woman who gets all the love we girls leave behind. The reason I know so much about her is because she picked up a man of mine… Jumping slick was my ruin. 'Cause I found out all I was doin' was makin' it easy for the clean up woman. To get my man's love, oh, yeah." Since it's all about the guys in this post I'll add a little more from Ms. Wright: "I took this man's love and put it on a shelf. And like a fool, I thought I had him all to myself. When he needed love, I was out having fun. But I found out all I had done. Was made it easy for the clean up woman. To get my man's love, uh-huh." Like I said, on any other day... in any other post... I might add that if the clean-up woman can take him, he wasn't really mine and she can have him. But since I'm only devoting this one top five songs to the guys. I won't say that… (grin)

4. "She's All I Got," Jeff Cozier
This song used to make me laugh… Not because I relished hearing about a brother's pain or anything like that. But because it was nice to hear a brother singing about how much he loves this woman who is giving him the blues. Refreshing... I'd say… "I wanna tell y'all about my old lady. Some times I think she's really crazy. She blacks out at the drop of a dime. But she's still my baby… She likes to get into confrontations with me. Testing my patience to see how far she can go before I lose my head… Sometimes I love her… Sometimes I love her not… I ain't letting her go… Cause she's all I got… Although she nags me and complains a lot I ain't letting her go… No, no, no." Okay, so clearly this brother is just glutton for punishment and he probably won't be going anywhere or kicking this chick to the curb anytime soon... But ladies, if your guy is identifying with these lyrics, maybe you could be just a little nicer to the dude. (Just a little. No need to go spoiling him or anything… LOL) My favorite line in this song is "As crazy as she is, I want her to have my kids…" LOL. I love it… Funny stuff…

5. "Change Me," Ruben Studdard
I have to admit, I don't really like this song. My baby was singing these lyrics a little bit too loud in the car the other day… Sort of the same way I belt along with Fantasia's “Free Yourself” when he's working my nerves… Okay, way too much information… over-sharing… and all that good stuff. But anyway, since it's all about the guys today, maybe, I can see how these lyrics could be easy for some guys to relate to. And I can see how some women might want to pay attention to what the brother is singing. This song is turning the tables and asking the woman how she would feel if he suddenly started to try and change every little thing about her. He sings: "How would you like it if I talked about your skin. The way you wear your hair (oh girl). Would you like if I talked about your butt? Or once a month turned into someone that was hard to love." (Now see… going there on the PMS thing is just wrong… Wrong I say! But I'll let that slide... today...) Then he adds: "Now what if all I did was pick apart your friends cause they ain't got no ends. What if I talked about your face in the morning? 'Cause we know that you ain't cute in the morning…. Would I be wrong… Would I be wrong…" Umm… heck yeah you would be wrong! It's just not right to talk about how folk look in the morning. Not cool at all... But since this is about the guys today, I won't point that out...

So, that's my top five "Sista Better Get It Together" song list. Did I miss any of your favorites? What would be on your top five list? Do you take issue with these kinds of songs? Are you against these kinds of warnings in general? (Well coming from the guys anyway…) I know this is not a list I plan to do again! I realize that I like the "brother needs to shape up or ship out songs" much better. LOL. But I'd love to hear what you think...

Much love and peace,


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Strong Review for Divine Destiny!

Joyfully Reviewed gave Divine Destiny a really positive review! I'm not sure if they have a number or some other ranking... But the review is great! Here's an excerpt:

"Gwyneth Bolton's Divine Destiny is a dark, paranormal, erotic, romantic twister that will have you tied up in so many knots you won't know what hit you. From the start, I was be caught up in the dynamics of Ms. Bolton's electrifying storytelling. This thrilling novel created a whirlwind of emotions inside me. There were times where I was fuming mad at the evilness portrayed within this story; moments where I found myself wet with great desire as I envisioned Darwu's wickedly, lustful dominant attempts at taming Kara through bondage and instances where I was teary eyed at the continuous sadness, misunderstandings and heartache. As the suspenseful plot gradually increase; I found myself stumping my feet with frustration. I wanted knock some sense into Darwu and Kara's heads by making them open their eyes to the maliciousness that surrounded them and to make them see that together they could conquer all. Divine Destiny is a great suspenseful, romantic tale that demonstrates superbly that everything needs to be worked at, be it trust and honesty, building a loving relationship or whatever." -- Nikita Steele, Joyfully Reviewed

Much love and peace,


Friday, October 20, 2006

Publishing While Black

"Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!"
– “--Yet Do I Marvel,” Countee Cullen

As I think about what it means to be a black writer in the 21st century, I’'m reminded that many black writers before me have pondered the same question for their own times. So, I want to devote my first post to an examination of what shall here after be called, Publishing While Black (PWB). I believe it is important to have this conversation in a historicized and contextualized manner. I also think I should attempt this exploration divorced from my normal pessimistic viewpoint. (Yes. I’'m going to try and be objective y’'all.) Because, I truly believe that, while we have lots of things that still need to be changed, we also have so much that we can look at as real progress.

Now, I realize that PWB doesn’t have the same drawbacks and possibilities for being pulled over and harassed that Driving While Black has. However, I think we can see some similarities between the two in that both have their own sets of limits, expectations and frustrations. When you’re driving while black you know that you need to be very careful to stay within all limits because most times cops don’t even need a reason to pull you over. The color of your skin is reason enough. When you'’re publishing while black your very career may have limits based on the fact that somebody has already decided where your book should be shelved based on your skin color and in some cases what and who you should be writing about based on your skin color. When you'’re driving while black, you expect to be pulled over, might even be surprised when you’'re not. When you’'re publishing while black if you didn'’t expect things coming into the publishing game, you get acquainted quick fast and in a hurry once you get in. And both come with their own levels of frustration. These vary for writers depending on what they want out of their careers and the expectations they have. Black folk aren'’t monolithic and this is of course true for black writers. But I do think there is something to be gained from thinking about PWB in a historical context. What can we learn by looking at what black writers have had to face throughout time? How does that history help us to better contextualize the contemporary moment?

Read the rest of this post over at the exciting new blog :

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Deleted Scene: If Only You Knew

So I've thought long and hard about placing this deleted scene on the blog because it's the epilogue. It would give away the ending. But then I thought, duh, it's a romance novel and that means everyone already knows that they live happily ever after anyway. It's the number one rule of romance. And then I thought the epilogue just kind of gives readers a glimpse of the characters lives in the future. So that's okay, right? A lot of people hate these kinds of epilogues because they're sort of a staple in certain romance novels. You know the ones where you get to see the hero and the heroine a few years down the line and they are both gazing at their new child and still happily in love. You know you've read them, and so have I. I love them. But my little scene got cut from the novel. So I'm sharing it with you here...


The soft tapping on the door was annoying and Latonya just wanted whomever it was to go away. She refused to even open her eyes. Eighteen hours of labor would make any woman tired. She didn't want any more visitors, not tonight.
Aren't visiting hours over with? Come back later! Her brain screamed as the incessant tapping continued. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap. "Go away," she moaned softly.
She just wanted to get rested so that she could take her baby girl home and be with her family. But to do that she needed to sleep and the soft yet persistent tapping on the door was preventing her from getting her much coveted rest.
"Go away," she mumbled, still not opening her eyes. It wasn't feeding time, because little Evie was sleeping peacefully in a bassinet in the corner.
The tapping persisted and Latonya figured it was best to just let the person in. She was too tired to keep telling them to go away. She opened her eyes and glanced over at Evie sleeping peacefully in the bassinet that the nurse left her in.
"Okay, come in already, good grief."
The door opened and two handsome men--one young and the other up in years but still full of spark--stood there with two gorgeous little boys, two elderly women and a younger woman. Somehow, her husband had managed to pull some stings and get their sons and the rest of the family in after visiting hours.
She smiled. Tired as she was, it made her heart burst just to look at the man she loved. And knowing that he knew how much she missed Carl and Terrence made her feel loved as well.
Her sister Cicely picked up Terrence and Carlton picked up little Carl. The entire family circled around her bed.
"Hey, family." She knew she must look haggard, but she felt a sudden burst of energy looking at her beautiful children.
"Hi, mommy, we come to see the baby, our new sister." Terrence spoke in a whisper, clearly trying to adhere to the proper tone of speech in a hospital.
"You came to see the new baby? What about me? Didn't anyone come to see me?" Latonya teased.
"We came to see you and our new sister." Little Carl smiled assuredly.
"How are you feeling, babe?" Carlton had been in the delivery room the entire time and he looked as tired as she felt. He should have been home resting but instead he brought her family to her.
She smiled lovingly at him. "I'm fine. Just a little tired that's all."
"Well, you should be tired after that intense labor. But she is precious and so worth it. Look at my niece." Cicely gazed at Evie in awe.
"My baby sister." Terrence staked his claim.
Some things must really be passed down in the genes, Latonya thought as she watched her son.
"She is precious. You finally got one that looks like you, child." Jillian teased.
Carlton shook his head in mock dismay. "Yeah, I'll have to get guard dogs and a gun once she becomes a teenager. Look at her, she's beautiful."
"I think she's waking up." Cicely said.
Little Evie let out a loud piercing scream and Gran picked her up from the bassinet. Gran cooed and cuddled her little namesake, Evelyn "Evie" Harrington, before handing her over to Latonya.
Latonya smiled down at her baby and then her family. Old man Harrington was beaming with pride as he looked at his first great-granddaughter. She had long since forgiven him for his role in the misunderstanding that almost tore her family apart. She had to forgive him in order to forgive Carlton and herself. If they had been open to trust the love between them, the old man wouldn't have been able to come between them. In some ways his deeds taught them a valuable lesson about the price of love.
"I never thought I'd see the day when this old cranky man was speechless," Jillian joked.
"I'm just amazed at how beautiful she is, and how lucky I am." The elder Harrington touched Latonya's arm as he spoke.
She looked at him and tried to find any of the hard feelings she had for him and found none. "We're all lucky, Grandfather, very lucky."
Carlton smiled at her and winked. "Listen I think my wife could use some rest. So can you all take my sons home. I’m going to hang out with my two girls a little while longer and make sure that they both get some rest." He handed little Carl to Grandfather and took little Evie from Latonya before situating himself in the comfortable rocking chair.
The family filed out as he held on to the baby, rocking her gently in his arms.
Latonya shook her head. "You're going to spoil her rotten aren't you?"
"Who me? Never." He lied.
Latonya shook her head and smiled. "Yeah, right."
"Get some rest, sweet heart. I have a feeling that this little new addition to our family is going to require us both to be well rested and on our toes." He said as he looked at his daughter in amazement.
And with that, she closed her eyes knowing that whatever the future brought, they'd all paid the price for their happiness and everything would be as it should be.

So that's it. What do you think? Do you think it would have added anything to the story to have this scene included. The hero, Carlton, got on a lot of readers nerves in certain parts of the novel. Do you think this last scene would have allowed him to redeem himself even more than he did at the end? And I'm not even going to ask if it redeems Grandfather. For some readers, Grandfather will never be redeemable. But does the scene at least give you more of a window into why Latonya was able to forgive? And perhaps how much she really values her family? Let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by during deleted scene week.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Third Review for Divine Destiny is in!

Okay, today must be the hot day for getting reviews. I just got the review from Romance in Color. They gave it 4 stars! Here's and excerpt. (And I promise, if I get another review tonight, I will save it for a little while... But it's just such an exciting time. This is my first paranormal romance and my first erotic romance. So bear with me...)

"DIVINE DESTINY is a captivating tale in which the action and romance moves along at a quick pace. The story, a paranormal/erotic mix, is very engaging and I enjoyed reading about the fictional world Ms. Bolton created. Ourlane, its conflict and its people, is made real through the author's descriptive use of imagery, narrative, and dialog. She does an excellent job balancing all of the story elements, while bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.

Kara and Darwu are a very passionate couple, the sparks almost fly off the page. Kara, a warrior in her own right, is the perfect companion for the strong, alpha male Darwu is. While they are both physically and mentally strong, they balance each other with their difference in philosophies and love they share for one another. Ms, Bolton does a good job of allow the characters to develop with the story. It makes the secondary characters really help lay the ground work and move the story along. The love scenes while downright wicked, don't go too far and remain

In short, DIVINE DESTINY is a very quick, hot read and I recommend it to all. But be warned, once you pick it up, you may not be able to but it down. In fact, I finished it in about three hours." -- La-Tessa Montgomery, Romance in Color

Second Review for Divine Destiny!

I just got my second review for my December release, Divine Destiny. Romance Junkies gave it 5 Blue Ribbons! Here's an excerpt from the review:

"Gwyneth Bolton has written a thrilling kick-butt story with DIVINE DESTINY. Kara is exactly the kind of heroine we all love. She's not about to back down to any man and will do whatever she has to for the cause that she believes is right. Darwu's attitude is exactly what I would expect from a male - dominant and 'always right.' Reading about their battle of wills is a delight to the senses. There's so much going on throughout this storyline that readers will anxiously devouring the pages to find out where the true threat is coming from and if Darwu and Kara ever learn to agree on anything.

Ms. Bolton just keeps getting better with every book she writes. This is her third published novel an it's vastly different from her other works. The characters still display the wonderful headstrong personalities I loved so much in her other stories but you get an exciting paranormal element along with a bit of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat as I read. This is definitely a book I'll be adding to my keeper shelf." -- Christine Dionne for Romance Junkies

Post-it notes...

So, I was looking at my post-it note pads. And I realized that I have some really cool ones. Here are some of the sayings on my designer post-it note pads:

"It's not easy being Queen!"
"Be reasonable... do it my way!"
"Sarcasm is just one service I offer."
"I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you."

Cool, right? Hmm... I wonder if my choice of post-it note pads says anything about my personality... Nah... And I won't even get into my lovely array of B*#@! magnets... I'll save the catchy little phrases on those for another post.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Deleted Scene: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

So, I thought I'd try an experiment this week and post two deleted scenes, one from each of my two published novels. This is something that I have pondered over and over. I mean, scenes are cut for a reason, right? Maybe they should never see the light of day. Maybe it's best to just leave them where they are. But I mentioned to one reader (Hey, Louise!), that I was thinking about putting up some deleted scenes and she has not let me forget. LOL. So, I picked the scenes based on readers' comments and responses I've gotten about the novels. Now, I'm not saying that if the scenes had stayed in the novel then the readers wouldn't have had similar responses... but I'm just saying... The following scene was cut from my first novel, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me. I now know that the whole background material I had of them as teenagers probably needed to be cut. But I have heard from some readers who felt that Alicia was giving Darren a hard time and she needed to get over what happened to her when she was fourteen. So I figured I'd share the scene and see what you thought. I'll be posting a deleted scene from If Only You Knew on Wednesday.

Deleted Scene:

The Singletons held a going away barbecue for the boys to celebrate their going off to college. Again, Alicia felt it was overkill. One would think that they were the first people to ever go to college. Alicia stood under a tent in the massive backyard of the Singleton's red brick colonial, watching everyone around her have a wonderful time, everyone, including Darren Whitman and his date.
She tried not to stare at the girl. She was pretty if you liked the tall model-type. She was fair-skinned and had one of those Halle Berry haircuts that everyone was wearing. And she fawned over every word that came out of Darren's mouth.
Alicia decided that even though the girl was older, she was clearly an idiot. She realized that she was staring at them and looked away. Unfortunately, she didn't do it fast enough to stop Sonya from catching her.
"Girl forget about Darren. The fact that he has a date here should tell you that you’re wasting your energy," Sonya said in a matter-of-fact tone.
"I'm not even thinking about Darren. I just think his choice in women is a little predictable. What's so special about her?"
"Hmm... let's see. Could it be the long legs? The dimples? Oh no, I think it's that high butt that looks like you can sit a cup on her back!" Sonya laughed.
Alicia couldn't help but join her even though laughing was the last thing she wanted to do. It hurt too much. "Well, good for her and him. I hope they have a long, miserable life together."
Sonya put her arm around Alicia. "Let's go find some guys to dance with. This is a party, right?"
"Right." Alicia cast one more look at Darren and his date and decided to at least try and have some fun.

Darren couldn't stop himself from watching Alicia dance with some little high school twerp. The boy's awkward moves made him wish that he had taken the chance to dance with Alicia at the club a few months ago.
He couldn't believe that he was at the party with a gorgeous girl--one his age--and he kept thinking about a fourtee-year-old--a fourteen-year-old that he was supposed to one day marry. He couldn't wait to leave for DC. He blinked to clear his thoughts and decided to pay more attention to his date.
Darren brought her to the barbecue because he was getting tired of Kendrick making insinuations about him having the hots for a kid. He turned and tried to catch what Shannon was saying, and as he did, he noticed Kendrick giving him the evil eye.

Once the barbecue was over the boys took their partying over to the Taylor's family room with some beers they stole from the stash Troy's folks had for the adult guests. Alicia saw them sneaking the beers and she was tempted to tell on them, but she decided she would eavesdrop instead. She wanted to hear what Darren had to say about tall-dumb-girl.
She sat down by the entrance to the family room, out of their sight, and she realized the more she listened to them that she was right. Boys were dumb. She was just about to get up and go to her room when her name came up.
"And just what the hell were you doing looking at Licia all night, man. She's a kid. I thought we decided that we wouldn't be robbing the cradle this summer?" Alicia’s cousin sounded a little tipsy.
"Man, stop tripping. It's not even like that. Did you see my date? She was fine! And she's a woman, not a little girl. I don't do little girls, man, especially not bratty pests like your cousin. She's irritating, an annoyance. I can't stand her. I don't like her, never did, never will." Darren's voice, the one she thought was so sexy, sounded harsh and mean.
"Plus your little cousin is not all that. I mean she's a cute kid and all, but it’s not like she's Tyra Banks or anything like that. Maybe when she grows up she’ll be halfway decent looking. But right now, I'm not feeling her like that. So, you can stop tripping."
Alicia couldn’t believe those horrible words were coming out of Darren's mouth. She was tempted to go in there and give him a piece of her mind. But she was numb. Her mouth fell open and she felt a weird lump in her chest.
"Shoot. You're bugging! When she grows up? If she's half as fine when she grows up as she is now, then your little cousin will be the finest woman to walk the earth. She looks like a mix between Stacy Dash and that honey from Teen Summit. What's her name . . . Ananda Lewis? Shoot, Darren can play that line if he wants to, but I'm not scared of you and I'm not gonna lie." Troy had clearly had too much of the beer.
"Man, shut up!" Darren and Kendrick snapped in unison.
"Whatever, man, whatever." Troy laughed.
"Anyway, like I said, I'm not interested in the kid. She's got a smart mouth. She thinks she's special. And she's really still the same little pesky brat she always was—minus those braces. I won't ever be interested even if she was the last woman on earth."
Alicia realized that her face was wet when she felt a tear trail down her neck. She got up and tried to control herself, but she couldn't contain the sob that escaped her lips. She ran to her room before anyone could see her.

"What the hell was that?" Kendrick snapped.
The boys looked puzzled for a moment and then as if they all experienced Deja vu at the same moment, they each said, "Alicia."
"Dang, she's still eavesdropping." Troy shook his head. "Sounds like she was crying or something. Didn’t it?"
"Yeah it did. I better go see if she's okay." Kendrick gave Darren one last glare and then went looking for his cousin.
Darren sighed and leaned his head back on the sofa. He didn't mean for Alicia to hear that. But maybe it was for the best. He saved face with his friends. And if she hated him, then he didn’t have to worry about marrying her. Looking up, he noticed Troy looking at him with a silly smirk on his face.
Irritated, Darren snapped, "What? What are you looking at?"
"I hope it was worth it," Troy said smugly.
"You hope what was worth it? What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about you and how you will never stand a chance with Alicia now."
Darren closed his eyes. That should be a good thing. Right? "Weren't you listening to me? I don't want a chance with her. She's a kid."
"Right, right, so I guess you won't mind if I step to her? When she's older, of course." Troy looked at Darren intently.
His eyes popped open. He felt himself spiral through a blaze of emotions from angry to bordering on hatred. That was definitely not a good thing.
Troy smirked. "Don’t worry man. She's like a little sister to me. I just want you to be honest. You like her. I don't. I just tell it like it is. I have to admit it has been funny watching you pretend you don't like her all summer."
Darren finished off his beer and shut his eyes again. If he didn't get this Alicia thing under control, it was going to be the longest four years ever.

So there you have it. What do you think? Should Alicia still have gotten past her hurt quicker and stop giving Darren a hard time? Or did our hero get exactly what he deserved when she made him work for it? Tune in later this week for a deleted scene from If Only You Knew...

Much love and peace,